So… been a solid drinker from the age of 17… took a few years off when preganant but once the kids hit 3 years old, there I went, back on the wagon of love…or is it?
I always try to do dry January to convince myself I’m not a problem drinker or have a dependency. I grew up in a household where mother was drunk and a secret drinker and drove me to college whilst drunk..I didn’t realise it at the time. I just thought she was nuts.
I ran away a week before my 18th and moved in with a friend from work and her family..Lo and behold, also heavy drinkers but not secret ones. A whole new breed of drinkers. In fact, drinking was encouraged. Wednesday pub quiz night was THE night for the parents to take their 2 daughters and moi out to the pub to get hammered. I remember falling asleep on the table during the quiz because I was way over my limit but being chastised the next day for being ‘slack’. Then University came along at 21. Within 3 months I’d broken my nose on the toilet door – opened it on myself , ofcourse! – and had far too many to recall, nights where I was just not compos mentis. I finished University and split with the boyfriend, only to end up in Amsterdam – village of the damned, as I lovingly named it, with a new drug – marijuana. Wow, that stuff made me laugh and laugh and laugh a bit more…but I always preferred the booze to the smoke so my cravings continued. Then I land a job for an oil company where drinking is the way you relax, every night.
I could go on but I won’t…
My life had been an endless encouragement to drink myself to oblivion. Which is weird since I lived with an alcomom and usually kids of these people, don’t drink. But it was forced down my neck at every interval and here in ole Blighty it’s just not the done thing to say, ‘I don’t drink’. It’s like you’ve just condemned the person who IS drinking.
I had it again recently.Started my new job, small family run business, boss liked to have a drink, invites me amd my whole family over for drinks on Saturdays….they just never ended. If I tried to sneak off to bed at 1am I’d be told I was a light weight…after 7 solid hours of prosecco and endless bags of crisps and popcorn. After 3 such events, my husband and I decided that we would no longer sleep over and that one of us would drive- usually me. The boss actually poured whisky into my coffee one night! Determined to make me drink and stay the night..
These people are everywhere.
I watched my husband and my best friend of 20 years and HER husband on New Years eve, drinking all sorts of spirits, wines and beers from 5pm til almost 3am on New Years’ Day. I had 2 glasses of prosecco and a relatively good nights’ sleep. They all woke to a houseful of children – ours – with sore heads, red eyes, bad breathe and couldn’t eat their New Years’ Day lunch or be bothered to do anything in fact. I sat smug, knowing I had started my year off the way I wanted it to continue.
So far, I’ve been dry for 17 days and I am not craving anything. I’ve switched my vodka and orange for ginger ale and lime slice with ice. I’m not pigging out on crisps every night or waking up fuzzy headed and grumpy with the kids. My kids are 9 and 10 and they know when something is off with me now. I don’t want them to think grumpy is the norm for me. I don’t want them to think drinking at home is OK and is HOW IT’S DONE. I just don’t want my kids growing up to think that drinking is how you mask your problems.
I finally realised why I drank. It was the mask over me. The light stealer. The soul killer. The memory murderer.
I finally broke free.
Food for thought.